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On 9-11, after the plane hit the Pentagon, emergency responders shuttled the injured to a nearby hospital. This created a swell of patients at one facility. Meanwhile, a trauma center nearby sat empty. The patients simply did not arrive. In the aftermath of analyzing how the medical community could have responded better, leaders of federal, state, local and private healthcare organizations realized they needed a way to collectively make decisions about where to care for those who were injured. They wanted a way of sharing information in real time to understand how to distribute resources and where to send the patients. How might we design and implement a system that gives leaders real time insights to make actionable decisions about to how best to care for casualties? 


Client Relationship & Contract Management

Design, Development & Team Lead


Photo: Fort Belvior Community Hospital

We approached a variety of people with mobility issues, primarily focusing on those who used walkers. We casually approached people on sidewalks and interviewed people we knew. We observed their movements and preferences.

We also conducted market analysis to uncover what was available in the marketplace. This would help us understand if  there were better solutions available. 


We conducted synthesis weekly and allowed brainstorming to arise into each session. Once we finished our research, we:

  • Developed personas of the users of walkers

  • Honed in on who we were designing for

  • Generated as many ideas as possible, iterating off of each idea that came to light

  • We drew inspiration from extreme users - athletes and veterans with mobility issues


I lost my insurance. I didn’t know what was going to happen. When I woke up, there were doctors around my bed. They handed me a letter… it was from the VA and it said that the VA was ‘going to take care of one of their own.

Veteran Patient & Former Marine

Seattle, WA

​VA is a jigsaw, I need someone like Paul to help me navigate.

Veteran Patient & Former Soldier

Gainesville, FL

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  • Created a life size functional prototype

  • Created visual and physical form prototypes


Once we settled on our end user, we continued to refine our designs. Eventually, we settled in on a  design that we liked. We created a life size functional prototype. 

We drew inspiration from Patricia Moore, a designer and gerontologist who pioneered the universal design movement. I served as the official tester and simulated physical ailments to test the product. I impaired my hearing, grip and sight to see how well the model supported me. Once we made adjustments to the product, we created attractive visual and physical form prototypes.

Visual Design: Deloitte Doblin

Visual Design: Deloitte Doblin, Aaron Steinstra, Veronica Vela


  • Product Pitch Deck

  • Life Size Functional Prototype

  • Visual Form Prototype

  • Model Form Prototype

Visual Design: Corinne Vizzachero, Aaron Steinstra


Our prototypes were used for over 15 years as a model outcome for the flagship New Product Development class University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Our course professor, Dr. Sara Beckman, kept the life size prototype in her office to demonstrate the power of design. After a decade of teaching the course, Dr. Beckman went on to found the Jacobs Institute of Design, a multidisciplinary institute to expand design beyond the business and engineering schools at UCB. This course, changed the trajectory of my career. I spent the next ten years finding ways to integrated design into my working style and eventually found myself in roles where I could exclusively practice design. 

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